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Monday, August 29, 2011

Fresh salsas

A great way to spice up a plain ol' baked chicken breast, sauteed pork chop or grilled burger.  You can make these on the weekend, and serve them all week as a finishing sauce for simple, quick dishes or just as a "filler" side dish.  And look! it's another way to use zucchini! 

Patience and attention to detail will be rewarded here...a very fine dice makes the difference between a sauce and a coarse salad.  Sharp knives are a help, too.

Blanching the onion takes a bit of the bite out of the salsa, but feel free to leave them unblanched if you like a rawer flavor.  You can also choose how hot to make your salsas...if you like a hotter mix, use serranos or jalapenos, but if you want a milder dish, use poblanos or cubanelles.

Salsa de calabaza
Makes 2-3 cups

1/2 small red onion
1 medium zucchini
1 medium carrot
2 tomatillos, husks removed
1 medium tomato
1 jalapeno, seeded
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp marjoram
salt to taste

Dice the onion very finely, 1/4" or less.  Pour boiling water over the onion and let stand for 15 minutes.  Drain thoroughly.

Cut the remaining vegetables into 1/4" dice, or as small you can safely make it.  Combine all the veg with the oil, vinegar, marjoram and salt.  Let stand at least 1 hour before serving.  Use within a week.

Melon Salsa
Makes 3 cups

2 lbs. melon (any type or combination), peel removed (about 1/2 a medium canteloupe or 1/3 a large volley-ball sized canteloupe)
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded
1 cubanelle pepper, seeded
2 tbsp fresh mint
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
sugar to taste

Cut all fruit and veg into small dice, 1/4" or as small as you can manage safely.  Chop the mint finely.  Toss fruit, veg, mint, lime juice and vinegar with a large pinch of sugar, if desired.  Let stand 1 hour before serving.  Use within a week. Pin It

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